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Ahern defends huge pay rise amid opposition criticism

The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, has defended the ?38,000 pay rise he was awarded yesterday by the Review Body on Higher Remuneration.

The body has recommended that Mr Ahern's salary be increased to ?310,000 per annum to match the equivalent private-sector wage.

The opposition has expressed anger at the move, but Mr Ahern says the review body is an independent organisation and its recommendations will be implemented by the Government.

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